FRISCO, Texas – Mike McCarthy is hoping history will repeat itself.
To have a long-term future with the Dallas Cowboys, he may have to.
In his fifth year with the Green Bay Packers in 2010, he won Super Bowl XLV. He enters his fifth season as head coach of the Cowboys in 2024 with no guarantee he will return in 2025 because he is in the final year of his contract.
“I think the direction, the leadership, everything is in place,” McCarthy said. He added, “I'm not very comfortable talking about myself, but I came here to win a championship. I didn't come here to get another contract or anything else. I came to Dallas to win a World Series, and that's why.” I'm standing here. join us.”
Three days after a disappointing Wild Card loss to the Packers at AT&T Stadium, owner and general manager Jerry Jones made McCarthy's return in 2024 official Wednesday with a 260-word statement that praised McCarthy's regular-season winning percentage and “his clear success after “Season's over,” even if it comes with the Packers. The Cowboys are just 1-3 in the playoffs under McCarthy.
Jones and McCarthy held a three-hour meeting on Wednesday to cover matters that included the wild-card loss to the Packers, the players and the direction moving forward. McCarthy said he did not go into the meeting wondering if his job was on the line.
“I'll be honest with you: The only thing I worry about is my family,” McCarthy said. “I'm very confident in who I am. I can't say it enough. So I'm confident in what we've done here and I'm very confident in where we're going to go. That's how the meeting really ended. And not just where we're going but we have work to do.” . The job is not finished yet. And we both know that.”
McCarthy posted a 42-25 regular season record. The Cowboys have won the NFC East twice in the past three years. They have made the playoffs in three straight years, their longest streak since 1991-96 in which they won three Super Bowls.
But the Cowboys' Super Bowl drought has now extended to 28 seasons.
“We have work to do,” McCarthy said. “The mission is not over yet. We know that.”
In 2023, McCarthy's first year as a play-caller, the Cowboys led the NFL in scoring (29.9 points) and were fifth in yards (371.6). He believes the second year of his system will lead to improvements in 2024. Dak Prescott led the NFL in touchdown passes (36) and completed a career-best 69.9% of his passes, and was named a second-team All-Pro.
But Prescott struggled against the Packers, with two interceptions in the first half, including one that was returned for a touchdown that extended Green Bay's lead to 27-0. Prescott has a 2-5 playoff record.
“I believe in Dak Prescott. I think he's clearly the answer,” McCarthy said. He added: “He's part of the solution moving forward, and I think that as difficult as this time is now, when we can work through this emotional time that we're in, we'll continue to build on what he brings to the table.” “.
As for his coaching staff, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is interviewing for five head coaching vacancies. If he gets one of those jobs, the Cowboys will be in the market for a replacement. The only coach not under contract for 2024 is wide receivers coach Robert Prince, although other changes are possible.
McCarthy said he had preliminary talks with his aides but expected more formal meetings next week.
Asked if Quinn would return if he didn't get the head coaching job, McCarthy said: “Dan is a highly regarded member of our coaching staff. We'll go through that process here.”
Next will come roster issues with 16 players set to become unrestricted free agents, salary cap issues involving Prescott's $59.4 million cap hit, and a draft that will need to shore up problem areas.
But at least McCarthy knows he'll be back for another chance.
“We've created a championship program. It's not a world championship yet,” McCarthy said. “We know how to win. We know how to train to win. We have the right people, but we haven't crossed the threshold of winning playoff games. It's very disappointing to be sitting here talking about it, but I know how to win. We will cross that threshold.”
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